Dorsey & Whitney LLP remains active and available to assist our clients!

Many of our offices have shifted to working from home, with certain essential administrative, financial, and mail-processing personnel continuing to work physically in our offices with proper care and consideration regarding local conditions.

Our firm’s Coronavirus Resource Center is available at:

The U.S. government agencies that oversee the U.S. immigration system have been active in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (for a brief overview of each agency, please refer to the last section of this update):

Department of State (DOS): COVID-19 Response

Department of Homeland Security (DHS): COVID-19 Response

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP):

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

Other Actions Taken by DHS:

Department of Labor (DOL):

Minnesota Department of Public Safety: COVID-19 Response

Overview of Principal Government Agencies Administering Immigration Law:

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Key DHS agencies that affect immigration include:
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the principal agency that processes petitions and applications for U.S. immigration benefits for foreign nationals. If you or one of your foreign national employees are preparing to file a petition or application for U.S. immigration benefits (e.g. permission to employ a foreign worker), the USCIS is the agency you are most likely to need to deal with next.
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervises and manages entry to the U.S. at the border, for both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. If your U.S. citizen or foreign national employees plan to enter the United States, they will need to deal with a U.S. CBP officer for their application for admission.
    • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the enforcement arm of the DHS. It oversees investigations, enforcement, worksite violations, and deals with document fraud. You are likely to encounter ICE agents if your company gets audited for Form I-9 compliance.
  • U.S. Department of State (DOS) operates the U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world, which control the issuance of visa stamps to foreign nationals. If you have a foreign national employee who is outside the United States and needs to apply for a visa stamp in their passport, the DOS is the government agency they are most likely to deal with next.
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has jurisdiction over U.S. labor laws, including elements regarding the employment of foreign nationals in the United States. It oversees the PERM Labor Certification program (which relates to green card/permanent residence processing) and the Labor Condition Application (LCA) program (which relates to foreign nationals working in H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 immigration status). If you are preparing to file an LCA or PERM application with the Department of Labor in conjunction with another filing, or waiting to receive its decision, the DOL’s processing will affect the timing of when you can make related filings with the USCIS and/or DOS.

If you would like to contact an attorney to discuss how these U.S. government agency updates and closures may affect you or your business, please visit our immigration practice group.

To learn more about Dorsey’s recommendations on international travel bans, USCIS and Consulate closures, and the business immigration challenges in the U.S. as the world recovers from the global pandemic, join us on April 22nd for the 10th Annual Labor & Employment 2020 Webinar Symposium. Further information and a link to register can be found here.